Posts filed under ‘Super Pot’
I am not a huge fan of cold sandwiches but throw it on the griddle and I’ll eat it faster than anyone else. I love using my Grillet for fast weeknight cooking and decided to make use of it this week as a sandwich press for one of my all time favorites. The secret to a great grilled sandwich is using weight and pressure to get really great grill marks and a uniformly crisp exterior. To do this, I used a lid from a small pot and pressed down as the sandwich squished against the hot grill, flipping the sandwich halfway through to get the grill-marks on both sides and assure the cheese was melted and all the yumminess inside was hot and bubbly.
2 long white bread buns
10 slices of thick cut ham… like the kind you may still be trying to finish up from Sunday :)
10 slices of Mortadella (or turkey or more ham)
6 slices of provolone cheese
2-3 tblsp mustard
2 tblsp butter
4 pickle slices
Heat your grill to 300 degrees F.
Cut buns lengthwise in half and spread butter and mustard on bottom half. Place ham and mortadella, folded in half for thickness if necessary, on the bread. Top with cheese, pickles and the other half of the bun and carefully place the entire sandwich on the hot griddle. Gently press on the sandwich, with a tool of your choice, increasing pressure slowly for a few minutes. Turn the sandwich over and repeat.
Slice in half and serve.
Last night was a typical busy midweek nothing-planned-for-dinner kind of a night and by the time we got home from not just one, but three separate after school activities I was desperately looking for something fast and satisfying to feed my kiddos.
Thank goodness for tortillas and cheese. Am I right? Added to the mix this time around was a few exotic ingredients that turned a plain ol’ dish into something spectacular. I paired sweet crab with a simple salsa of juicy mango and silky avocado and a new favorite was born.
CRAB QUESADILLAS WITH MANGO AND AVOCADO SALSA
For the Mango and Avocado Salsa:
1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste
For the quesadillas:
16 oz can of crab meat, drained
4 large flour tortillas
16 oz white cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz Cotija cheese
To make the salsa: Prepare salsa by mixing all the ingredients together, being careful not to bruise the avocado. Set aside to let flavors meld.
To assemble the quesadillas: Heat grill to 350 degrees and grill tortilla for a minute or so until warm, flip over and top with half the crab meat and half the cheddar cheese. Top with a second tortilla and press down slightly.
Check for grill marks on the bottom and turn quesadilla when desired doneness is achieved, 5 minutes or so. Grill other side until crispy and remove to a cutting board. Repeat with the next two tortillas.
Cut into wedges and serve with Cotija cheese and salsa on top.
Now, I know it’s not November quite yet but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little sweet-tart cranberry goodness on your plate. “Spicy” isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think “cranberry” but after trying these grilled (yes, grilled) meatballs you’ll understand why items like jalapeno jelly make some people go crazy. Chicken, pepper jack cheese and jalapenos are combined with a hefty handful of dried cranberries to create a balance of flavors wrapped up perfectly into poppable meatballs.
BBQ CRANBERRY JALAPENO CHICKEN MEATBALLS
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/4 cup cranberry juice
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Mix BBQ sauce and cranberry juice together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated.
Roll into 1 1/2″ balls and place on the grill. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip meatballs and grill an additional 1 minute.
Add 1 cup of water to the pot, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and let cook until all liquid evaporates, approximately 5 more minutes.
Check for doneness toss with BBQ sauce and enjoy!
In my household chicken is a go-to protein since it pleases all of our palates and is quick and easy to prepare. But, as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I do get tired of the eternal chicken breast and wish there was a simple way to vary the flavor and presentation of this everyday fare. I’ve dabbled with dozens of sauces and skewer variations attempting to reawaken the curiosity for this poor overeaten piece of protein but am often still often met with the “chicken again?” comment from my kids. So I did what any good cook would do… dressed this week’s chicken dinner in a nice little bacon costume and voila! A new hero was born.
BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat and cut in half width-wise
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, diced
8 basil leaves
16 bacon slices
salt and pepper
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes and one basil leaf.
Roll each piece into a bundle and wrap two bacon slices tightly around each bundle, securing with toothpicks if needed.
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Grill chicken, uncovered, for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
I belong to a lunch group where we rotate visiting each other’s homes and the host cooks everyone lunch. This week it was my turn and although there’s nothing I like better then getting together with friends and eating some great food I had a pretty crazy week. However, thanks to my handy dandy grill and rice cooker preparing the lunch club ended up being a breeze for me and I had a great meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.
I grilled some fresh cuts of salmon to crispy perfection without any worries of the delicate fish sticking to the pan then tossed a salad of lightly steamed (this counteracts any hint of bitterness) kale with lemon oil and garlic. The meal was light and delicious… perfect for a group of moms getting together by the pool!
4 salmon fillets
coarse salt and black pepper
Brush the flesh side of your filets with olive oil and season with coarse salt and black pepper.
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees and grill fish skin side up for 7 minutes or until crisp. Flip and continue cooking until done, another 3 minutes or so.
BASIC KALE SALAD
one bunch of kale, cut in ribbons, with the toughest rib removed
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp olive oil blended
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Fill your rice cooker with water to the min level and place kale on the steam tray. Close the lid and set for steam for 5 minutes.
Whisk together olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and set aside.
When your rice cooker beeps, remove kale and toss with dressing and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
My dinner menu is often determined by what my local grocer has on special that week. This week it was some succulent jumbo shrimp and fresh pineapple. A perfect pairing on its own but add summer heat to the mix and it was truly a match made in Heaven. These skewers turned out to be a quick and delicious meal that pleased everyone… quite a rare find and one that made the dinner frenzy in my household much more tolerable. To take advantage of the sale I bought some extra shrimp, marinated it and stored it in the freezer for later use. In a pinch I can take out a bag, thaw the ready-to-use shrimp and have a delicious dinner on the table in no time.
THAI PINEAPPLE SHRIMP SKEWERS
1lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
fresh pineapple slices cut in half
3 garlic cloves
juice of 2 lemons
1 tblsp chile sauce
1 tblsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tblsp cilantro
2 tblsp sesame oil
Place all ingredients aside from shrimp and pineapple in a blender and blend until incorporated. Put shrimp in a freezer bag and pour half the marinade on top. Close the bag and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Prepare skewers with alternating layers of marinated shrimp and pineapple.
Place skewers on the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side or until shrimp turns pink, being careful not to overcook. Baste with left over marinade and serve with a salad or on top of steamed rice.
Sometimes life calls for the classics to be revisited. My father loved flambéed bananas. As a kid, I remember watching in awe as he set ablaze the pan of caramelizing fruit. It wasn’t just dessert, it was a show.
The fancy dish was invented in the 1950’s by a chef at a famous New Orleans restaurant who prepared it for his friend Richard Foster. It became an instant hit, combining buttery warm sweetness with cold vanilla ice cream in a pairing perfect for any occasion. The sweetness of the banana is played up in a sauce of butter, sugar, spices and alcohol of your choice (usually rum) and served alongside a large scoop of cool, creamy ice cream. Although it began traditionally served table-side at fine dining restaurants the dessert quickly spread to the masses. This version comes very close to my father’s and is definitely accessible to any table.
2 under-ripe bananas
2 tblsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Peel bananas and slice in half lengthwise then cut in half.
Add butter, spices and sugar to the pot and stir until sugar has dissolved. Place bananas on the grill, flat side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes, spooning the hot sauce over the bananas as they cook. Remove bananas and set aside.
Add rum to the pan and stir. Using a lighter, light the mixture to flambé it. Allow to cook for a few more minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
Spoon over bananas and serve with vanilla ice cream.